A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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ORDER XXVII.—PERSONS ENGAGED IN PERSONAL SERVICE (including Institutions, Clubs, Hotels, etc.)

918.—Laundry Workers; Washers, Ironers Manglers

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a shirt or collar machinist (q.v.) who carries out one stage of the ironing of starched collars or starched parts of a shirt on an ironing machine.
receives clothes from rinser and places them in blueing water to whiten, i.e., correct yellowness; makes fresh blueing water from time to time by dissolving blue in water.
body ironer
lays articles of body linen, e.g. shirt bodies, in position on a body linen ironing machine; secs machine in motion and changes position of garment to expose unironed parts to action of machine; stops machine and removes garment, when smooth and dry.
bosom ironer
a shirt machinist (q.v.) who irons fronts of stiff-fronted shirts on a special ironing machine.
calender hand, calender minder ; calenderer
general terms for women or girls employed in ironing flat articles, e.g. sheets, towels, tablecloths, in a laundry, by passing them through a calender; works either in front of or behind machine; includes shaker out, feeder, taker off, and folder (q.v.).
see taker-off.
see marker.
clear starcher
a starcher (q.v.) who starches curtains, dresses, etc., with boiled starch.
collar curler
see shaper.
collar dresser
see collar machinist.
collar ironer (hand)
irons, polishes aud curls collars by hand using special irons.
collar machinist ; collar dresser
general term for any person ironing starched collars by machine in a laundry, including collar curler (or shaper), blocker or polisher (q.v.).
copper woman
stands at copper in small laundry, putting the "whites" in for boiling and taking them out for rinser, when sufficiently cleansed.
see packer and sorter.
cuff ironer
a shirt machinist (q.v,) who irons starched cuffs on an ironing machine.
curtain stretcher
see framer.
lays out fine silks, etc., on steam-heated copper cylinder to dry and be finished.
decoudun hand
a calender hand (q.v.) who attends a special make of calender, called a decondun [sic].
see washing machine attendant.
domestic laundry worker ; laundryman (domestic)
does any work in a small domestic laundry or private house such as washing, ironing, sorting, etc.
takes work from hydros, hangs on frames and passes it through drying room.
examines articles after washing, dyeing or cleaning for bad work and for any defects or stains caused by process.
a calender hand (q.v.) who receives "flat" work (towels, blankets, etc.) to be ironed from shaker-out (q.v.) and places article as flat as possible between moving rollers; keeps it taut and straight, guiding it with hand.
finery machinist
general term for any person ironing delicate articles by machine in a laundry.
a calender hand (q.v.) who folds by hand work after it has been taken off the calender, or ironing machine, by taker-off (q.v.); stacks folded articles on adjacent tables or places on racks; sometimes works with another folder for large articles.
framer, curtain framer ; curtain stretcher
stretches blinds and curtains on frames and runs frames on to heated presses to dry curtains; usually done by calender hand (q.v.).
see polisher.
gofferer, gopherer
holds and manoeuvres frills of body linen, curtains, etc., between smoothing jaws of power goffering machine; stops and starts machine by foot lever.
hand ironer
smooths articles of wearing apparel, bed or table linen by hand by rubbing on table with stove heated, electric or gas irons.
hand washer
washes by hand silks, coloured articles, flannels, etc., that cannot safely be washed in machine.
hangs up clothes on drying racks or on lines out of doors; cf. dryer.
house laundrymaid
combines duties of housemaid (900) (q.v.) and laundrymaid (q.v.).
hydro attendant, hydro hand, hydro man
places wet linen in centrifugal hydro extractor, which drives water out of articles; empties and generally attends to machine.
iron carrier (flat irons)
carries flat irons to and fro between ironers and heating stove.
may be either hand ironer or collar or shirt machinist (q.v.).
general term, applying to all male workers in laundry.
laundress ; laundrymaid
general term applying to all women workers in a laundry or on laundry work in private house or institution.
laundry hand (baths)
washes by hand towels and costumes which have been used by bathers; in large establishments may use washing machine and calender.
laundry keeper
owns and in many cases manages a laundry.
see laundress.
laundrymaid (domestic)
washes, starches, irons and airs clothing and household linen in private house.
laundryman ; washhouseman, washman
receives soiled linen from sorters and puts it in washing machine; first "breaks down" linen in warm or cold water, then boils up clothes in fresh water, rinses with fresh warm water and "blues" (see bluer).
laundryman (domestic)
see domestic laundry worker.
laundry worker
general term for any worker in a laundry.
see collar machinist and shirt machinist.
manager, manageress
controls and organises the staff of the laundry; sometimes makes up the starch solutions.
mangle keeper
a mangler (q.v.) who does mangling for persons doing their own washing.
puts damped linen, etc., through hand or power driven mangle to smooth out creases; folds linen by hand both before and after mangling.
marker ; checker, tabber
examines articles received to find customer's private marking or defects (i.e., holes or tears) in materials; "marks" or "tabs" article and enters it in ledger before sending to sorting section; marks defects by stitching round the hole in red thread and notes them in a book.
neck hander
a shirt machinist (q.v.) who irons starched neckbands of shirts on specially constructed ironing machine.
packer and sorter ; counter, packer, sorter
examines, checks on lists, marks and sorts soiled linen as received from customers; sorts the clean linen, checks articles by customers' lists and packs in parcels or hampers.
polisher, collar polisher ; glosser
a collar machinist (q.v.) who receives ironed and starched collars from the blocker (q.v.) andirons them again on special glossing machine.
damps down; i.e. sprinkles water upon dried work and folds it for ironers.
see receiving office assistant (775); may also do work of packer and sorter (q.v.).
receives clothes from washing machine attendant, rinses them in fresh warm water, either by hand or in rinsing machine, and passes them to bluer.
a calender hand (q.v.) who shakes out creases from wet "flat" work (towels, sheets, etc.) in readiness for feeder (q.v.) at calendering machine.
shaper ; collar curler
a collar machinist (q.v.) who receives collars after they have been blocked and polished, and passes them through a special machine which shapes or curls them.
shirt and collar dresser, shirt and collar machinist
a laundry machinist who combines the work of both shirt machinist and collar machinist (q.v.).
shirt backer
irons by hand back, skirts, etc., of shirts, the starched parts of which have been dealt with on a machine.
shirt dresser
see shirt machinist.
shirt ironer
irons shirts throughout, both starched and unstarched, usually by hand.
shirt machinist ; shirt dresser
general term covering any worker engaged in ironing the starched parts of shirts on ironing machines, and includes bosom ironer, cuff ironer, neck bander, and blocker (q.v.).
see packer and sorter.
soaks clothes, etc., in starch solution in tub or machine; then passes through rubber covered wringer to remove excess of starch.
steam presser operator
places articles flat on steam-heated bed of machine; pulls down weighted lid by means of lever and presses article.
see marker.
taker-off ; catcher
a calender hand (q.v.) who takes clothes, linen, etc., from back of calender (ironing) machine and passes to folder (q.v.).
may be either a hand washer (q.v.) or washing machine attendant (q.v.).
visits private families for the washing of clothes, household linen, etc., or takes in washing at her own house.
wash-house foreman
superintends work of other wash-house men in laundry.
wash-house man, wash man
see laundryman.
washing machine attendant ; dollyman
places work in rotary washing machine, adds water, soap, soda, etc., as may be necessary; starts and stops machine by switches or levers; regulates the time of the processes; removes articles when finished.
wet cleaner
washes by hand in a careful and scientific way, using a small brush and various special soap solutions.
wringer attendant
operates hand or power driven wringer to extract surplus water or starch from clothes, linen, etc.; feeds articles between rollers from board; starts and stops machine by means of levers.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.